Problems with Crowdsourcing Surveillance

Bruce Schneier has a nice little piece which is saying similar things to what I’ve been saying over the last couple of years on the subject of ‘crowdsourcing’ or opening closed-circuits of surveillance. He critiques the Internet Eyes scheme and Texas Border Watch and others. This is also the subject of the paper, ‘Opening Surveillance?’ that Aaron Martin of LSE and I presented at the S&S conference in London in April, and which will hopefully be coming out in the journal’s conference special early next year…

America’s Surveillance State

I’ve posted several times over the last few years on how the USA is rapidly overtaking Britain as the leading democratic ‘surveillance society’. It seems like some commentators in the USA now agree – Glenn Greenwald writes on the Salon magazine site, about his essay published by the libertarian Cato Institute, and the responses it has received from different parts of the US political spectrum. It’s all worth a read, although for British activists and academics in this area in particular, it will sound like what Yogi Berra famously described as ‘deja-vu all over again’… and it’s hardly new even in the States (see the work done by ACLU, Wired’s Danger Room, experts and academics like Bill Staples, Bruce Schneier and Torin Monahan, and popular books by Christian Parenti and Robert O’Harrow, for just a couple of examples).

Civil liberties in Britain

In February, the Convention on Modern Liberty will be taking place in cities across the UK and online. Unfortunately I will still be in Brazil and there are no listed events in Newcastle, which is a great shame – I would certainly have been organising some. This is an issue that tends to cross party lines and unite people of all political persuasions, so I hope as many people as possible in the UK get involved…

The Guardian newspaper´s Comment is Free site also has a special section set up for the event called Liberty Central. Surveillance Studies Network and Surveillance & Society were supposed to be listed there (they contacted us), but they aren´t yet…

New study on social networking and surveillance

One of our collaborators on the new Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS) project, Christian Fuchs, from the eTheory Research Group of the ICT&S Center – Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society at the University of Salzburg in Austria, has an interesting-looking new study out on social networking and surveillance. You can also find more information about the study here.

Just like me, Christian also has a blog on wordpress – although he hasn’t updated it much recently (I know that feeling!) – and runs an open access online journal, tripleC (cognition, communication and cooperation). Check them out…